Thursday, May 8, 2014

Hostile Ground by L.A. Witt and Aleksandr Voinov

★★★★★
Mahir is an undercover detective attempting to infiltrate a covert drug ring by becoming employed as part of the security team. Ridley is the intimidating head of security fixated on testing Mahir’s loyalty and weeding out any threats to the organization. Both immediately find themselves tangled in a dangerous erotic game of manipulation.

Hostile Ground is a sexy suspenseful book with great characters. I loved that this book was so much more than just a titillating story. The prose was intelligent, engaging and fast paced. The dialogue flowed well and felt genuine coming across as witty, sexy, and heartfelt. The characters were well rounded, complex and felt authentic.   

Mahir is a compelling character whose point of view tells the story. Mahir is Muslim of Syrian descent which results in racial tension within the story and a cultural precedent that clashes with his sexual identity. His rational and accepting demeanor is heartening to read. The novice undercover assignment demonstrates an interesting duality as he projects a persona that is part truth and fiction.  

Ridley is an intense and calculating character that tests Mahir in more ways then one. Elaborate mind games force both of them to continually out think each other while trying to stay a step ahead. I enjoyed the morally ambiguous decisions and situations that Ridley’s character presented. This forced Mahir to truly consider how much he would endure and concede in order to build a solid case.   

I loved that both main characters were masculine men secure in their sexuality. Their relationship dynamic was explosive and complex. Their chemistry and physical attraction was initiated through an erotic appeal for trust and dominance. I enjoyed reading their chaotic journey to further establish trust and intimacy when the future of their relationship was obscure and discouraged.       

The erotic scenes were vivid, coherent, flowed well, and were of course sexy. I find this commendable and noteworthy because it’s very easy for erotic scenes with same sex couples to become confusing or feel unnatural.

Gay sexuality was addressed unobtrusively through the embedded story line. I liked that the story showed the full spectrum from the direct aftermath of coming out through a secondary character to the long term residual complications and concessions through the main characters.  

I enjoyed the elements of realism that the authors instilled especially with the professions, physical location, culture, criminal operations and psychological components. This further established the tension and suspense that was continually present throughout the story.

The first portion of the book has dynamic character conflict and interplay. While the second portion of the book adds additional action and drama resulting in continual suspense until the very end.

Hostile Ground is an engaging thrilling story with fantastic characters that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. 

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher Riptide Publishing through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review]

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